January 24, 2007

2000 Kent Rasmussen WInery Pinot Noir, Carneros, California

Kent Rasmussen started his winery in 1979 when he planted six acres of Pinot Noir vines. At that time Carneros was not thought of as optimal vineyard area and had relatively few thriving vineyards. Vineyards had once been planted throughout the area, dating back to the time that it was originally homesteaded in the 1830's, but the industry never caught on with any success. By the end of WWII, most of the vineyards had been pulled or were overgrown and forgotten.

It is an incredibly challenging area to grow grapes of any kind, but especially daunting to attempt to grow Pinot Noir there. Obviously, this did not stop Mr. Rasmussen and he persevered adding additional vineyard land in the process. By the time Carneros had caught on as a good area to grow Pinot Noir, Kent Rasmussen was already comfortably situated as the vanguard and the largest Pinot Noir vineyard owner.

He made his first wines from his plantings in 1986. Twenty years later his wines are respected and renowned throughout the world and Carneros is considered to be one of the best areas to grow Pinot Noir in California. Now that's vision.

We enjoyed this bottle. In the glass the wine offers great ruby color tinged with that reddish brown around the edges that is indicative of Pinot Noir. The nose was remarkably full, with hints of blackberry and Earl Grey tea. Cat picked up a little black licorice. The full nose gave way to a lighter palate with slightly brighter fruit, a little earthiness, and a lingering and slightly sharp finish. Cat noticed a slight metallic taste to the finish but I did not get that, but it did initially react with the back corners of my tongue. After the bottle had opened up for about 30 minutes we found it to be quite nice, very elegant, and much softer with almost a perfume like quality to the nose. Good wine.

cost - $24.99

winecommando rating (1-10) - 8

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